My formal art training began in 1981 at the Christchurch polytechnic. I was accepted into the ‘Graphic Design’ programme and spent 3 years learning foundational skills in a broad variety of disciplines including technical and life drawing, photography and print making, illustration and design. During this period I was privileged to have tutors such as Neil Dawson and Graeme Bennett, who encouraged me to be more courageous in my approach and to develop an honest critical eye.
In 1984 I travelled overseas to pursue a Fine Arts education. I was given the opportunity to apply to the Ontario College of Art (OCA) in Toronto and was awarded a place in the Fine Arts department, at second year level. The following year I was accepted into the ‘of campus programme’ and spent my third year drawing and painting in Florence. I received the Stevenson’s painting award for the work produced in this year. I returned to Canada to complete my fourth year of college. Focusing on drawing, painting and photography I graduated with honours in 1987.
After graduating from OCA I worked in the animation industry in Canada and the UK. I worked in both 2D and 3D (stop-motion) animation and was lucky enough to work at the National Film Board of Canada were i encountered some of the more painterly experimental animation techniques. In 1993 I was accepted into the international summer school of animation at Sheridan College, Canada, and spent two years studying traditional drawn animation under the tutelage of animation legends Zack Schwartz and Kaj Pindel. For my work in the second year I received the Dick Friesen-Zlatko Grgic award for excellence.
I returned to New Zealand in 1995 and began working as an animator/director in Wellington. During this period I began painting with oils on salvaged wood panels from scrapheaps and boatyard;
skips and beaches. On these small long-dead, pre-used discarded objects a theme developed: secret places; emotive disquieting landscapes incorporating monolithic architectural elements, vaguely recognisable but eerily alien.
In 2005 I returned to college to study nursing. I put my paintbrushes down temporarily, as full-time study did not afford me the head space to paint as well. This was a difficult decision but one I do not regret as psychiatric nursing was more rewarding and creative than I could have imagined.
I have just returned from 3 years animating on 'Kiri and Lou' an award-winning children's series in Ōtautahi Christchurch.